The beautiful ambience in and around our resort enabled us to do some good birding when we were not on safari. Accomodation was in the form of 2 roomed cottages with the reception and dining area in the middle and with numerous trees around
Bandhavgarh National Park lies in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Nearest airlink is Jabalpur and railheads are Katni junction 120 kms & a smaller station - Umaria about 35 kms. Most of the resorts are at Tala outside the park area. To get the best of your visit, it is necessary that you go on all the safaris. The early morning safari begins at 5.30 a.m. & ends at 9 a.m. this is the best time to spot the tiger and other living beings. However, due to the large number of jeeps that line up outside the gate, you need to be on your way latest by 5 a.m. to obtain your route and guide so that you can enter as soon as the park gates open. It reminds one of the "Charge of the Ligt brigade!" If however, your idea of a holiday is a more relaxed one - arising at 10 a.m. in the morning, you will miss out on the real opportunities for wildlife viewing.
You need to hire an open jeep, arrangements for which can be made from your hotel. Each jeep carries 6 tourists and it is compulsory to take a guide from the entry point. Be aware however that during the busy season, temporary untrained persons are recruited from the nearby village. You need to impress upon your jeep driver that you require a trained & experienced guide with a keen eye who can show you all there is to see. A good guide can share a wealth of information that you may not always glean from the books. Do however, consult guide books especially for birds, butterflies & reptiles/amphibians which your resort/ hotel would normally have in its collection.
For an enjoyable trip like this, I would like to thank
Bombay Natural History Society and especially the "Butterfly man" -Isaac Kehimkar, GM Programmes for being an excellent resource person & for the good arrangements made
Staff at Tiger Trails Resort for the service rendered to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable in the scorching summer heat
Pinku & his team of jeep drivers especially our driver Pappu who was not only an able driver but also played the role of a very knowledgeable guide
The local guides who shared practical knowledge and experience with us
My fellow travellers for adding to the pleasure of the trip & especially Alka & Ankita Siraswar for being good room-mates